In late 2011, I set out on a bicycle tour around the US, New Zealand and Australia. Covering over 5000 miles we carried everything we needed on the back of our bikes but I just couldn’t resist keeping my inner developer happy while out of the office.
Blogging on bikes
I was keen to keep friends and family back home up to date with our progress and I wanted to communicate with other bike tourers who might be interested in doing the same route. This WordPress blog is perfect for updating on the move – the iPhone App allows me to make short updates or publish photos over a 3G connection, and I carried a small Acer netbook for publishing posts when wifi was available.
I developed a mapping plugin for WordPress which allows you to store location information with each post. This is then plotted on a Google map on the Progress page, drawing a path and linking to each post published along the way. The plugin also pulls in geolocated tweets, which means that even if I can’t write a blog post smewhere I can at least post a tweet to let people know where I am.
Photos from the field
A great way to quickly and easily publish a collection of photos is to use Picassa from Google to create a photo album, then use its sync-to-web option to automatically send them to Google Web Albums (now part of iGoogle). The Photos page on the blog then scrapes the xml feed from Google Web Albums and displays them within the site using a lightbox plugin.